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Thread: ***Chiefs vs Chargers Official Game Day Thread***

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    Default ***Chiefs vs Chargers Official Game Day Thread***


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    Is that a light at the end of the tunnel? ...



    ... or an oncoming train?
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    The Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)(4-2 @home)



    vs.

    The Los Angeles
    Chargers (7-6)(3-3 away)



    Saturday, December 16, 7:25pm CT
    at
    Arrowhead Stadium

    Kansas City, Missouri



    Television coverage:


    Radio Coverage:
    Kansas City


    Lawrence/Topeka:


    Manhattan, KS:


    St. Louis


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    Last edited by TopekaRoy; 12-16-2017 at 08:00 PM.
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    Stats & Stuff

    Weather forecast:
    48 degrees farenheit. Clear. 9 mph SSW winds.

    Line: Chiefs -1, Over/Under: 46

    Against the Spread:
    Record ATS 14-17.png

    Last 10 Games Head-2-Head:
    last 10 h2h week 14-17.png

    OddsShark Super Computer Prediction:
    Chargers 26.2
    Chiefs 20.0


    Schedules/Results:
    Thursday
    Sep. 7
    at New England Patriots 8:30pm ET
    NBC
    Won 42-27
    Sunday
    Sep. 17
    Philadelphia Eagles 1:00pm ET
    FOX
    Won 27-20
    Sunday
    Sep. 24
    at Los Angeles Chargers 4:25pm ET
    CBS
    Won 24-10
    Monday
    Oct. 2
    Washington Redskins 8:30pm ET
    ESPN
    Won 29-20
    Sunday
    Oct. 8
    at Houston Texans 8:30pm ET
    NBC
    Won 42-34
    Sunday
    Oct. 15
    Pittsburgh Steelers 4:25pm ET
    CBS
    Lost 19-13
    Thursday
    Oct. 19
    at Oakland Raiders 8:25pm ET
    CBS/NFLN
    Lost 31-30
    Monday
    Oct. 30
    Denver Broncos 8:30pm ET
    ESPN
    Won 29-19
    Sunday
    Nov. 5
    at Dallas Cowboys 4:25pm ET
    CBS
    Lost 28-17
    Sunday
    Nov. 12
    BYE


    Sunday
    Nov. 19
    at New York Giants 1:00pm ET
    CBS
    Lost 12-9 (OT)
    Sunday
    Nov. 26
    Buffalo Bills 1:00pm ET
    CBS
    Lost 16-10
    Sunday
    Dec. 3
    at New York Jets
    MetLife
    1:00pm ET
    CBS
    Lost 38-31
    Sunday
    Dec. 10
    Oakland Raiders 1:00pm ET
    CBS
    Won 26-15
    Saturday
    Dec. 16
    Los Angeles Chargers 8:25pm ET
    NFLN
    Buy
    Tickets
    Sunday
    Dec. 24
    Miami Dolphins 1:00pm ET
    CBS
    Buy
    Tickets
    Sunday
    Dec. 31
    at Denver Broncos 4:25pm ET
    CBS
    Buy
    Tickets
    Monday
    Sep. 11
    at Denver Broncos 10:20pm ET
    ESPN
    Lost 24-21
    Sunday
    Sep. 17
    Miami Dolphins 4:05pm ET
    CBS
    Lost 19-17
    Sunday
    Sep. 24
    Kansas City Chiefs 4:25pm ET
    CBS
    Lost 24-10
    Sunday
    Oct. 1
    Philadelphia Eagles 4:05pm ET
    FOX
    Lost 26-24
    Sunday
    Oct. 8
    at New York Giants 1:00pm ET
    CBS
    Won 27-22
    Sunday
    Oct. 15
    at Oakland Raiders 4:25pm ET
    CBS
    Won 17-16
    Sunday
    Oct. 22
    Denver Broncos 4:25pm ET
    CBS
    Won 21-0
    Sunday
    Oct. 29
    at New England Patriots 1:00pm ET
    CBS
    Lost 21-13
    Sunday
    Nov. 5
    BYE


    Sunday
    Nov. 12
    at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00pm ET
    CBS
    Lost 20-17 (OT)
    Sunday
    Nov. 19
    Buffalo Bills 4:05pm ET
    FOX
    Won 54-24
    Thursday
    Nov. 23
    at Dallas Cowboys 4:30pm ET
    CBS
    Won 28-6
    Sunday
    Dec. 3
    Cleveland Browns 4:05pm ET
    CBS
    Won 19-10
    Sunday
    Dec. 10
    Washington Redskins 4:05pm ET
    CBS
    Won 30-13
    Saturday
    Dec. 16
    at Kansas City Chiefs 8:25pm ET
    NFLN
    Buy
    Tickets
    Sunday
    Dec. 24
    at New York Jets 1:00pm ET
    CBS
    Buy
    Tickets
    Sunday
    Dec. 31
    Oakland Raiders 4:25pm ET
    CBS
    Buy
    Tickets

    Notable Quotables:
    Chiefs:

    “Ty [Tyreek Hill] has a lot of talent, the same things that Devin [Hester] does. Then teams are kicking away from him, same. It’s like déjà vu all over again. The same thing that happened in Chicago is the same thing that is happening here.”
    --Chiefs Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub

    Chargers:

    “The Chiefs have so many weapons. They move the ball with gadget plays. They have a quarterback rushing for 70 yards. They have multiple ways to move the ball downfield. So that makes them really dangerous.”
    --Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn
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    Injury Report:


    Mitchell Morse C Foot Did Not Participate In Practice Out
    Tamba Hali LB Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
    Eric Murray S Ankle Full Participation in Practice Questionable
    Kevin Pierre-Louis LB Quadricep Full Participation in Practice Questionable

    Casey Hayward CB Calf Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
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    Depth Charts:

    Chiefs




    Chargers
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    More Stats & More Stuff
    Team Leaders:
    Chiefs Stats Leaders 14-17.jpg
    Chargers Stats Leaders Week 14-17.jpg

    Matchup:
    Matchup Week 14-17.jpg

    Expert's Picks:
    Expert Picks Week 14-17.jpg

    Prisco's Pick:


    This game will likely decide the AFC
    West winner. The Chargers are rolling
    and the Chiefs bounced back against
    the Raiders last week. But the Chargers
    are a much better team than Oakland
    and I think their pass rush will get after
    Alex Smith. Chargers win a road game.




    Chargers 26

    Chiefs 20
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    Chiefs vs. Chargers: Five Things to Watch
    From Chiefs.com

    Posted Dec 15, 2017

    BJ Kissel
    Chiefs Reporter
    Chiefs.com
    Email @ChiefsReporter

    Here are a few storylines to keep in mind for Saturday night

    The Kansas City Chiefs (7-6) and Los Angeles Chargers (7-6) meet Saturday night in the first regular-season primetime game in the history of Arrowhead Stadium.
    And outside of what’s undoubtedly going to be a crazy atmosphere for football brought by the Chiefs Kingdom faithful, who have an entire day to tailgate and don’t have to go to work on Monday, there’s just so much to love about this game.

    It’s a red-hot Philip Rivers and company coming to town with the AFC West on the line. The winner takes control of the division.

    The Chargers have won four-straight coming into this one, while the Chiefs have got the better of them in seven-straight contests dating back to December of 2013. Furthermore, the Chiefs have won nine of their last 10 over divisional opponents in the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium.

    The Chiefs won the first matchup over the Chargers, 24-10, back in Week 3 in Los Angeles.

    But that game, along with the last seven that the Chiefs have won in this series, doesn’t have any effect on the outcome of Saturday night’s de facto AFC West title game.

    Here are five things to watch during Chiefs-Chargers on Saturday:

    1. Can Chiefs Kingdom and the Sea of Red get Arrowhead Stadium shaking?

    The weather is going to be fantastic for mid-December in Kansas City and all signs point to a fantastic game on the horizon. And to add even more intrigue—the Chiefs are going red-on-red.

    Led by outside linebacker Justin Houston and some of the other veteran leaders, the Chiefs’ players decided that all red everything is what they wanted to wear.

    “Honestly, I think we started the color rush thing a few years ago, just one color and get the crowd into it,” Houston explained. “It’s about if you feel good and dress good—you play good. That’s the mindset. We love the way that all red looks.”

    So, the question becomes can the Sea of Red once again remind everyone why Arrowhead carries the mystique that it does?

    “I think it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” Houston added. “It’s a Saturday night game determining our situation for the playoffs. I don’t think it could get any better than this situation right here. The fans will help us get this dub (win)—this 12th man is big in part and keeping [Philip] Rivers uncomfortable, so we need as many people as we can there.”

    Houston isn’t the only one who finds comfort in playing a game of this caliber in front of Chiefs Kingdom.

    “Hell, yeah,” quarterback Alex Smith confidently stated. “Yeah, this is about as big as it gets for a regular-season game. Division opponent, tied for first, only a few games left. The ramifications are huge. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.”

    The parking lot gates are set to open at 2:30. The noise begins when the Chargers get the ball.

    2. Can the running game success continue?

    For the first time since Week 5 against the Houston Texans, Chiefs’ rookie running back Kareem Hunt ran for at least 100 yards last week against the Oakland Raiders. He finished with 25 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown, and he also became just the second rookie in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in his first season (Joe Delaney, 1,121, 1981).

    Much of Hunt’s success can be attributed to the guys up front, who paved the way for the majority of those yards in the second half when the Chiefs had a lead and it was obvious they were going to run the ball—a sign of true domination up front. They were inserting their will.

    Chiefs’ coach Andy Reid spoke this week about the guys up front and whether their recent success and development are more about attitude or improvement in their technique.

    “I think it’s a combination,” Reid noted. “I think you’ve got to bring a certain attitude to the table. I think we’ve done a good job. The guys are battling.”

    The Chargers come into this game ranked near the bottom of the league in run defense—allowing more than 120 yards rushing per game. They are 2-5 this year when allowing 111 yards rushing or more.

    In the first meeting between these two teams, Hunt ran it 17 times for 172 yards and a touchdown, and a performance like that would obviously go a long way in the Chiefs picking up this key win Saturday night.

    3. Can the Chiefs contain Keenan Allen without giving up big plays to his teammates?

    There may not be a receiver in the NFL who is hotter right now than the Chargers’ Keenan Allen, who has been targeted 49 times with 39 receptions for 547 yards and four touchdowns over the last four games.

    He’s been the catalyst for their offense.

    “[Allen] has always been a tough guy to cover,” Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said earlier this week. “He’s highly competitive and tough-minded, and he goes in to make the tough catches. Anytime you have a dynamic player like that, that is performing consistently—one, it forces a lot of attention from everybody, and then two, certainly from their standpoint, opens up other players.”

    Last week against the Washington Redskins, the Chargers were able to find the end zone twice on plays in which the defensive focus was on Allen.

    Tight end Hunter Henry caught a touchdown across the middle after the safety vacated that area to focus on Allen, while Tyrell Williams’ 75-yard touchdown a bit later in that game was only possible because of the three guys covering in Allen’s area.

    For the Chiefs, the return of Marcus Peters at left cornerback, combined with the play of the group last week against the Raiders, should have the group feeling confident going up against one of the best in the league in Rivers, who was picked off three times in their meeting earlier this season.

    The hard part is once again trying to contain Allen without giving him so much focus that the other guys are in situations to consistently make plays. It’s going to take everyone.

    4. Can the Chiefs’ pass rush affect Philip Rivers?

    At 36 years old, Rivers is playing some of the best football of his career right now.

    Over his last four games, Rivers is completing 69 percent of his passes for an average of 337 yards per game with eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

    In his career, which spans 193 regular-season games, Rivers has never gone five straight games without an interception. That streak is on the line Saturday night.

    “He’s time-tested,” Reid explained of Rivers. “He’s been doing it a long time and at a very high level. He’s got Allen, who is healthy, and that’s his guy and he’s playing at a high level. So, he’s in tune with the offense and things are clicking for him.”

    As is the case with all quarterbacks, the best way to slow them down is with pressure.

    Last week against the Raiders, the Chiefs’ front seven found some success getting after Derek Carr and only having to rush four in order to get there.

    It’ll be a challenge this week against a Chargers’ offensive line that’s only allowed 15 sacks of Rivers all year, which is the fewest in the league for any starting quarterback.

    Rivers—a pocket passer—is best affected by interior pressure and getting him to move laterally in the pocket, which lends itself to guys like Chris Jones and company to try and make the difference Saturday night. Jones was a beast last week, finishing with four quarterback hurries.

    5. Can the Chiefs keep Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram from wreaking havoc?

    “They’re, as a tandem right now, playing in my opinion probably the best in the league as far as bookend guys.”

    That’s Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Matt Nagy talking about the Chargers’ Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, who have combined for more than 20 sacks this season and rank as the No. 1 (Bosa) and No. 3 (Ingram) graded edge rushers in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.

    “When you have two guys playing in the style that they play, a lot of spin moves and a lot of games, they create lanes by doing that, then on top of that they’re just full of energy,” Nagy added.

    “They’re great with their combinations and twist games,” Reid also noted. “They’re going to give you four good quarters of aggressive football.”

    The Chargers will put both of those guys on the right side of the offensive line on third down in obvious passing situations and create all kinds of protection issues.

    In the first meeting against the Chargers, one of Ingram’s three sacks that day came on a little twist with Bosa off the right side of the Chiefs’ offensive line. It was the same move they ran on a key third down against the Redskins last week.

    It’s something to watch on Saturday night, particularly when throwing the ball is imminent.
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    Game Preview from ESPN.com

    Raiders visit Chiefs in key AFC West battle

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The teams meeting Saturday night share striking similarities with the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers sitting atop the AFC West with 7-6 records and seeking the inside track to the division crown with two games left after their showdown at Arrowhead Stadium.

    The teams share another startling similarity as they each have a four-game losing streak on their resume. Los Angeles coach Anthony Lynn said he believes his team's winless skid opening the season made his squad stronger.

    "Coaches are understanding what we do better, I'm understanding this team better and the guys are executing better," Lynn said. "With the effort that we've always had, this is kind of what we had envisioned before the season started. I think we went through some tough times early and I think those tough times have helped make us better and prepared us for this stretch we're in now."

    The Chargers now sit on a four-game winning streak, blowing out their opponents 131-53 in that stretch. Quarterback Philip Rivers owns three-straight 300-yard passing games and Los Angeles piled up 174 yards rushing last week against the Washington Redskins.

    Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson said he sees the same offense with one small tweak since the last time the two teams met, a 24-10 Chiefs win back in Week 3.

    "The only difference is they're running the ball a little bit better," Johnson said. "Philip is still Philip. He's doing a great job in the passing game. He still takes his shots down field. If you make a mistake, he's going to capitalize off of it for sure."

    Kansas City coach Andy Reid remains wary of the threat Rivers poses along with his favorite target, wide receiver Keenan Allen.

    "He's time tested," Reid said of Rivers. "He's been doing it a long time and at a very high level. He's got Allen who's healthy and that's his guy and he's playing at a high level. So he's in tune with the offense and his players and things are clicking for him."

    While the Chargers started 0-4 and are 7-2 since, the Chiefs season offers a mirror-image. The club started 5-0 before their 2-6 slide left them in a dog fight for the AFC West.

    But Kansas City showed signs of righting the ship last week with convincing 26-15 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Lynn sees the same team he saw in Week 3.

    "Watching the game last week, they look like they picked up where the left off," Lynn said. "Their guys making plays all over the field and I thought they played well. They have weapons on the offensive side of the ball at every skill position. Lot of speed, lot of team speed."

    The teams seem to be relatively healthy. The Chiefs will likely be without starting center Mitch Morse, who appears likely to miss his second straight game after re-aggravating a sprained left foot that kept him out of five games earlier this season. The offensive line fared well without Morse last week as the team pile up 165 rushing yards and kept quarterback Alex Smith relatively clean.

    But Reid acknowledges that Kansas City's offensive line faces a tougher task this week facing San Diego's aggressive defensive ends duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

    "They're bringing it every snap," Reid said. "They're great with their combinations and twist games. They're going to give you four good quarters of aggressive football."

    Chargers starting left tackle Russell Okung (knee) along with starting defensive tackle Corey Liuget (toe) were limited participants in practice Tuesday and Wednesday but appear likely to play Saturday.

    The rare Saturday night game brings a touch of history to Arrowhead Stadium. This marks only the seventh Saturday game and first Saturday primetime game in the stadium's 46-year history.

    "Both teams have something on the line this late in the year, it's kind of a neat deal," Reid said. "Our guys are well aware of that and we're lucky we're playing here at Arrowhead."

    With Saturday's game looming as a must-win for both, Lynn said he thinks that gives his battle-tested team an advantage.

    "When you start out the season 0-4, you start feeling like it's a must-win game back in September," Lynn said. "We've been in this situation every single week."
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    Chiefs-Chargers scouting report, key players to watch,
    and a prediction

    From The Kansas City Star


    Red Zone


    The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

    DECEMBER 08, 2017DECEMBER 15, 2017 02:51 PM


    The scheme

    Head coach: Anthony Lynn
    (7-6) is in his first year on the job. Lynn, 48, is a former running back at Texas Tech who forged a six-year playing career in the NFL, despite going undrafted in 1992. A two-time Super Bowl champion with Denver (1997, 1998) he joined the Broncos’ coaching staff as a special teams assistant in 2000 when he was forced to retire due to repeated neck injuries. He served in that role until 2003, when he was hired to be the Jaguars’ running backs coach. Over the next 12 years, he also worked for the Cowboys, Browns and Jets in the same capacity. He added the title of assistant head coach with the Jets in 2013, and was hired for both roles with the Bills in 2015. After Greg Roman was fired last September, Lynn became an offensive coordinator for the first time in his career. And when Rex Ryan was fired last December, Lynn was also named the interim head coach. He was fired to be the Chargers’ first head coach in January, becoming the first African-American to serve in that role in the club’s 56-year history.

    Offense: Ken Whisenhunt, 55, is in his third year as the Chargers’ offensive coordinator. This is his second stint. Whisenhunt is a former tight end at Georgia Tech who carved out a seven-year career with the Falcons, Jets and Washington. He then spent a few years as an assistant at Vanderbilt before joining the Ravens as tight ends coach. Over the next seven years, he coached the same position for the Ravens, Browns and Steelers and spent a year as the Jets’ special teams coach. In 2004, he was promoted to offensive coordinator with the Steelers, where he enjoyed enough success to be hired as the Cardinals’ head coach in 2007. Whisenhunt went 45-51 during his six years in the desert, falling just short of a Super Bowl title in 2008. He spent a season as the Chargers’ offensive coordinator in 2013 before getting his second shot as a head coach in 2014. He was hired by the Titans, however, after going 3-20 in two seasons. Since then he’s served as the Chargers’ offensive coordinator, where he’s been a good fit due to his relationship with quarterback Philip Rivers. Los Angeles ranks fifth in total offense (373.7 ypg), third in passing offense (273.2) and 24th in rushing offense (99.5). Los Angeles is a three-wide dominant team that is passing the ball 59 percent of the time, 15th in the league. They rarely lean on play-action, as they call it 17 percent of the time, which ranks 27th in the league according to Football Outsiders.

    Defense: Gus Bradley, 51, is in his first year as the Chargers’ defensive coordinator. Bradley is a former free safety and punter who played for North Dakota State from 1984 to 1988, where he played for three national championship teams. He joined North Datoka State’s coaching staff as a graduate assistant shortly thereafter, and eventually spent 14 seasons as a defensive coordinator on that level before he was hired to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneeers’ linebackers coach in 2006. In 2009, he was hired by Pete Carroll to be the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator, a position he thrived in until 2013, when he was hired to be the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach. Bradley was fired after going 14-48 across four seasons, but landing in his current role with the Chargers. Los Angeles runs a multiple 4-3 defense with 3-4 elements that ranks 10th in total defense (325.1 ypg), third in pass defense (200.3) and fifth in sacks (37). The Chargers’ run defense ranks 29th (124.8). Teams use play-action 24 percent of the time against the Chargers, tied for the most in football with the New York Giants.

    Special teams: George Stewart is in his first year as the Chargers’ special teams coach. Stewart was a guard at Arkansas from 1977-80, and he joined the Razorbacks’ staff in 1983 as a graduate assistant. He followed Lou Holtz to Minnesota and Notre Dame, where he worked as a linebackers coach until he joined the Steelers as a special teams coach in 1989. He also worked in the same capacity for the Buccaneers and 49ers, then spent 17 years as a receivers coach for the 49ers, Falcons and Vikings. He was hired for his current job by Lynn in January. Kicker Travis Coons has made seven of eight field-goal attempts. Punter Drew Kaser has dropped 21 of his 60 punts inside the 20, 19th in the league. The Chargers rank 30th in kickoff returns (18.9 ypr) and 11th in punt returns (9.3). They also rank 28th in kickoff returns (24.9) and 17th in punt-return coverage (7.6).

    Four keys to a Chiefs victory

    1. Dial up the zone runs


    The Chiefs racked up 189 yards on 25 carries in their 24-10 win over the Chargers in September, and many of those yards came via the zone runs that have long been associated with Andy Reid’s West Coast scheme. The Chiefs went through a long stretch this season — most of November — where the offensive failed to block those particularly well, but the unit got back on track in the Chiefs’ 26-15 win over Oakland on Sunday. The Chargers are still one of the league’s worst teams against the run, at least statistically, allowing a league-high 12 runs over 20 yards or more, so the Chiefs should immediately see if they can handle their running game this time. Running back Kareem Hunt went off for 172 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in the first matchup, so it would be a surprise if Los Angeles didn’t do something to try to take him away. Whatever adjustments Los Angeles makes, however, can surely be countered, which means Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce could be in for nice nights.

    2. Get Rivers off his spot

    The Chargers do most of their damage through the air, as quarterback Philip Rivers is in the midst of a Pro Bowl season. They rank third in the league in passing yards, fourth in first downs via the pass (180) and seventh in passes over 40 yards (nine). That said, the key to disrupt this offense is to get to Rivers. He is a gunslinger, through and through, but he’s cut down the interceptions this year because his pass protection has been outstanding. The Chargers have surrendered the fewest sacks in football (15), which has allowed Rivers to deliver strikes from the pocket. But if the Chiefs’ interior front seven can collapse the pocket, it will force Rivers — who is not particularly mobile — to make throws on the move, which is where his accuracy and decision-making wanes. Rivers, if you remember, threw three interceptions in the Chiefs’ win in September. The Chiefs’ defensive interior needs to have another big game. All eyes are on Chris Jones, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Allen Bailey and Bennie Logan.

    3. Roll coverage toward Keenan Allen

    The fifth-year receiver is en route to a career year, as he’s already racked up a career-high in catches (83), targets (128) and receiving yards (1,143). This guy has been lights out for the last four weeks too, catching 39 passes for 547 yards and four touchdowns. Let’s just the say the Chiefs need to put some bodies around him. Allen is one of the guys star cornerback Marcus Peters gets jacked up for, and that’s a good thing, but it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to roll coverage Allen’s way, regardless of who he’s lining up against. This is not an indictment of Tyrell Williams or Travis Benjamin, who can hurt you in their own right, but the when the Chargers are in a gotta-have-it-situation, the Chiefs can’t let Allen beat them. It’s worth noting that the Chiefs handled Allen well three months ago, limiting him to five catches for 61 yards.

    4. Seize the Arrowhead momentum

    This is self-explanatory but a key nonethless. The Chiefs’ enthusiasm has been off-and-on for the better part of two months, and in my opinion, it’s no coincidence they’ve only won two of their last eight games. When this team is fired up and celebrating and legitimately into it — as they were in their season-saving win over Oakland on Sunday — there’s very few teams in the AFC that can beat them. Well, it will take that sort of effort to win against a Chargers team that is much better — and much more confident — than it was the last time they met. Fortunately, the crowd should be jacked up. Because this game falls on a Saturday night, fans will have all day to tailgate and all of Sunday to recuperate. This atmosphere could be terrific, especially if the Chiefs jump out to a quick start. Fans are looking for any reason to believe. If the Chargers let the Chiefs give it to them, it’s lights out.

    Four Chargers to watch

    No. 17, QB Philip Rivers, 36, 6-5, 228, 14th season


    Ranked No. 73 on the NFL’s top 100 list for 2017. Pro Bowler in 2016, when he completed 60.4 percent of his passes for 4,386 yards, 33 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Is likely headed toward another Pro Bowl season, as he’s on pace to complete 62.8 percent of his passes for 3,611 yards, 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a passer rating of 97.2. Very competitive and chatty on the field — the Chiefs’ defenders actually respect him for his swagger and enthusiasm for the game. Is not overly elusive in the pocket but can zip it in there from different platforms. Loves to go up top but will also throw up plenty of 50/50 balls. Has the arm strength to make all the throws, but at his worst he trusts his gun too much and makes iffy throws into tight windows, which results in interceptions. Has done a better job protecting the football this season.

    No. 13, WR Keenan Allen, 25, 6-2, 211, fifth season

    Only caught six passes for 63 yards last season, when his year came to a close due to a torn ACL tear against the Chiefs in the season opener. Is on pace to catch 102 passes for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns. Has never made a Pro Bowl due to the high number of injuries he’s had to battle during his career, but when healthy, he’s one of the league’s best wideouts. Elite route runner with terrific savvy and burst out of his cuts. Outstanding arm length (32 3/4 inches) and hand size (10 inches) allow him to pluck the ball out of the air in contested ball situations. Is a terror on underneath routes, where he creates separation with ease and can win due to his size and length and even with good coverage. Has some run-after-the-catch qualities — can make you miss with the ball in his hands. Extremely competitive and can be an irritant to opponents with his talking. Does not have elite speed but is fast enough to win downfield.

    No. 99, DE Joey Bosa, 22, 6-5, 280, second season

    Ranked No. 100 on the NFL’s top 100 list for 2017. As a rookie in 2016, Bosa recorded 41 tackles for 10 1/2 sacks and 21 quarterback hurries in only 12 games due to a contract dispute. Is on track to finish with 70 tackles and 15 sacks this season, as he also has 19 quarterback hurries, which ranks 13th in the league. Strong, relentless all-day sucker with a great frame who plays with great effort. Good but not great athlete who uses the power in his hands to jolt offensive linemen. He uses that, in addition to plus technique and enough speed, to consistently generate pressure. Gets to quarterbacks quickly with a nice closing burst and is very quick looping inside on stunts. Diagnoses the run quickly and generally holds the edge. Sheds blocks well. Doesn’t have many weaknesses and should be one of the league’s very best edge rushers for years to come.

    No. 54, OLB Melvin Ingram, 28, 6-2, 247, sixth season

    Recorded 60 tackles, eight sacks and 19 quarterback hurries in 2016, when he again starred as one of the league’s most underrated edge rushers. Is now the midst of a career year, as he’s on pace to finish with 46 tackles and 11 sacks. He also has 20 quarterback hurries, tied for 10th in the NFL, and could be in line for his first Pro Bowl appearance. Superb athlete who boasts the burst, strength and athleticism to consistently threaten the edge. Closes on ball carriers and quarterbacks fast and can really get after it. His burst, when paired with a bull rush, can be a lethal combination. Is also quick when looping around on stunts. Has the bend to close ground on quarterbacks quickly in the pass rush. Lit the Chiefs up for three sacks in Week 3 and must be accounted for at all times. Solid against the run and has developed into a strong all-around player.

    Additional scouting notes

    ▪ Running back Melvin Gordon III (#26) is outstanding. He’s on pace to finish with 282 carries, 1,050 yards and seven touchdowns. He flashes premier burst with very good elusiveness and is a tough runner who does not go down easily. He has also improved his vision and seems more comfortable running out of the gun than he was as a rookie. He’s come a long way since his rookie season but is still working on his pass protection.

    ▪ Tight end Hunter Henry (#86) is coming into his own. He’s on pace to catch 52 passes for 678 yards and five touchdowns and has emerged as a terrific receiving threat. He definitely needs to be accounted for in the red zone.

    ▪ Left tackle Russell Okung (#76) has been worth every cent of the $13.5 million he’s being paid this year. He’s helped locked down the left side on one of the best pass-blocking offensive lines in football. This used to be a trouble spot for the Chargers, but no more.

    ▪ Inside linebacker Denzel Perryman (#52) has helped shore up the Chargers’ run defense since his return. The former All-Juice ’backer is built like a fire hydrant but hits like a tank.

    ▪ Cornerback Casey Hayward (#26) would be one of the four players to watch if he wasn’t questionable for the game with a calf injury. He’s accumulated 35 tackles, four interceptions and a league-high 23 pass deflections this year. He’s a good athlete with solid instincts and ball skills who enjoys press coverage and is adept at both man and zone coverage.

    ▪ Safety Jahleel Addae (#37) is having an outstanding season. He’s a hard-hitting headhunter, so receivers, quarterbacks and running backs should always beware. But he’s been better in coverage this year and has matured into an all-around player.

    Prediction: Chiefs 23-20

    I think the Chargers’ Anthony Lynn is a good coach, and I think Los Angeles is a good team. I do not think it’s their time to win the division, however. That will likely come next year, as the Chiefs retool some things on defense and get younger on both sides of the ball. In the meantime, I expect the Chiefs to tap into the same level of energy and excitement they showed against the Raiders on Sunday in a win that should pave the way for the Chiefs’ second straight AFC West crown and a wild-card home game.
    ***Official Chiefs Crowd Game Thread Starter***

    This space is reserved for something that has nothing whatsoever to do with MatthewsChiefs. (Whoever THAT is!)

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    DAMN TopekaRoy! I stayed up late last night in the hopes of watching you post this thread post by post. But I finally gave up and went to sleep about 10 minutes before you started posting! Sorry I missed it!

    Something I should add to this post. As we all know, this is as close as you can get to a playoff game during the regular season. Both the Chargers and the Chiefs are 7-6. The Chiefs have what will probably be 2 tough games ahead of them (Dolphins and Broncos). The Chargers face the Jets and the Raiders. So the Chargers have the easier schedule after tonight's game.

    But here is the key thing....If the Chiefs win they only need to go 1-1 to win the division. If they lose, then the Chiefs would have to win out, and either hope the Chargers lost out (unlikely) or that the Chargers went 1-1 and that would make for a crazy tie-breaker since we would be tied head to head. Would probably come down to division record or conference record.

    In short, winning tonight gives us about a 98% chance of winning the West for the 2cond time in a row (don't think we have ever done that before). So yeah...NO SHIP SHERLOCK....this is the biggest game of the year!!!!

    I know that many folks here felt a few weeks ago that even if we won the West we would be one and done.....but let me remind you of a few years back when the Giants went 9-7 during the regular season, won through the playoffs and then faced the UNDEFEATED Patriots in the Super Bowl. Yup....the Giants won. The Chiefs have been a "streaky" team under Reid and if we can get on a winning streak now then we are VERY MUCH in the Super Bowl hunt!
    Last edited by ctchiefsfan; 12-16-2017 at 02:53 PM.

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